Public Prosecutor v O

JurisdictionSingapore
JudgeLai Kew Chai J
Judgment Date01 September 1999
Neutral Citation[1999] SGCA 65
Date01 September 1999
Subject MatterRape,Whether severe hardship to the family relevant consideration,Criminal Law,Sentencing,Criminal Procedure and Sentencing,Offences,s 376(1) Penal Code (Cap 224),Whether sentence imposed manifestly inadequate
Docket NumberCriminal Appeal No 8 of 1999
Published date19 September 2003
Defendant CounselRespondent in person
CourtCourt of Appeal (Singapore)
Plaintiff CounselSowaran Singh and Ng Cheng Thiam (Deputy Public Prosecutor)

(delivering the grounds of judgment of the court): This was an appeal against the decision of the Judicial Commissioner Amarjeet Singh in sentencing the respondent to imprisonment for a term of ten years for three counts of rape under s 376(1) of the Penal Code (Cap 224). For the purposes of sentencing, two further charges under s 376(1) and another two charges under s 354 of the Penal Code were taken into account.

The facts

The respondent, Yap Koon Mong, was 51 years old.

The victim, Ye Huiqi, was the respondent`s own daughter.
She was born on 18 August 1988. The first rape occurred when she was only nine years old. She is presently residing at Teenage Centre, Marymount Centre, No 790 Thomson Road. She was partially handicapped. She suffered from congenital weakness of both legs with bilateral varus deformity of the knees and talipes of both feet. She was dependent on crutches for her movement. Her family members regularly helped her exercise her legs.

At the trial below, the respondent faced a total of seven charges - five charges under s 376(1) of the Penal Code for rape and two charges under s 354 of the Penal Code for molest.
The prosecution proceeded only on three charges of rape, namely, charges 2, 5 and 1 and applied for the rest to be taken into account for the purposes of sentencing.

A Second charge

Sometime in 1997, the victim was alone at home with the respondent. The respondent told the victim to go to her bedroom as he wanted to exercise her legs. Once inside her bedroom, the respondent told the victim to lie on the bed. The victim complied. The respondent then took a pillow and covered her face before removing the victim`s pyjama pants and panties. The victim was too afraid to scream or resist as the respondent was a fierce father and was especially strict with her. The respondent then proceeded to rape her. The victim felt pain in her private parts but she did not say anything to the appellant. After ejaculating, the respondent made the victim promise not to tell anyone about this incident.

The respondent was accordingly charged as follows:

You, Yap Koon Mong, are charged that you, sometime in 1997, at Blk 96 Lorong 3 Toa Payoh [num ]13-26, Singapore, did rape one Ye Huiqi, aged 9 years, and you have thereby committed an offence punishable under s 376(1) of the Penal Code (Cap 224).



B Fifth charge

On 29 January 1998, which was the first day of the Chinese New Year, the respondent told the victim to go to his bedroom as she was preparing to go out with her family. At that time, the victim`s mother was in the kitchen and the two sisters were in the bedroom. The respondent told the victim to lie on the floor and she complied. The bedroom door was left slightly ajar. The respondent then had intercourse with the victim. When the respondent noticed the victim`s sister walking past the room, he stopped immediately and ejaculated outside the victim. The respondent told the victim to keep quiet about the incident before telling her to leave the room.

The respondent was accordingly charged as follows:

You, Yap Koon Mong, are charged that you, on or about 29 January 1998, at Blk 96 Lorong 3 Toa Payoh [num ]13-26, Singapore, did rape one Ye Huiqi, aged 9 years, and you have thereby committed an offence punishable under s 376(1) of the Penal Code (Cap 224).



C First charge

Sometime in August 1998, at about 10.45pm, the respondent told the victim to go to his room. The victim`s mother was out at work and her sisters were in the study room. The respondent told the victim to lie on his bed. He then removed his shorts and took off her panties before having intercourse with the victim. The victim informed him that she felt pain. After five minutes of intercourse, the respondent stopped. The victim was 10 years old when this incident took place.

The respondent was accordingly charged as follows:

You, Yap Koon Mong, are charged that you, sometime in the month of August 1998, at Blk 96 Lorong 3 Toa Payoh [num ]13-26, Singapore, did rape one Ye Huiqi, aged 10 years, and you have thereby committed an offence punishable under s 376(1) of the Penal Code (Cap 224).



Investigation revealed that the respondent never used a condom whenever he had sex with the victim.
The victim never told anyone that the respondent was raping her as the respondent made her promise not to do so. Further, she was afraid that no one would believe her and also that the appellant might go to jail and the family would be broken up if she revealed the truth.

On 26 October 1998, Dr Tan Poh Kok of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Singapore General Hospital, examined the victim and found that her hymen was torn and laxed, a condition consistent with vaginal penetration.


The respondent was arrested on 18 November 1998 and charged accordingly.
On 19 November 1998, the respondent was examined by Dr Leow Kee Fong, Registrar of the Medical Unit at Changi Prison Hospital. Dr Leow found no indication of impotence.

The respondent admitted the offences and the statement of facts which was read out.
The prosecution drew the court`s attention to the respondent`s previous conviction. He was convicted in 1987 of an offence of molest against an 11 year old girl and was fined $1,800.

At the trial below, counsel for the respondent pointed out, in mitigation, that the respondent was truly remorseful for what he had done.
He made no excuse and confessed that he had abused the trust that the victim had reposed in him. He had also by his own action showed that he was remorseful by meeting with his wife, Ho Hee Jong (`Mdm Ho`), and two other daughters while in remand.

Both daughters were 17 and 15 respectively.
They were still schooling. The wife was in her late 40s. She worked in a factory and was drawing a salary of $1,000 a month. The flat they were living in has not been fully paid up.

All the members of the family had written individual letters to the court below pleading on behalf of the appellant for a more lenient sentence.
All the letters indicated that the family was financially...

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